Columbia Medical Malpractice Attorney
The definition of medical malpractice is the failure of medical professionals to follow the accepted standards of practice for their profession, resulting in harm to a patient. Medical malpractice cases cover an incredibly broad array of incidents. Many law firms have experience in dealing with only a few of these. Discepolo Firm, however, has experience in medical malpractice cases dealing with many personal injury incidents. Among them are:
- Birth injuries: These include cerebral palsy, oxygen monitoring failure, brain damage resulting from birth hypoxia or other causes, and Erb’s or Klumpke’s palsy.
- Nursing errors
- Errors made during surgery: Surgeons who leave objects inside patients and wrong-side surgeries are examples of surgical errors.
- Emergency room errors
- Errors in medication or anesthesia
Victims can bring cases of medical malpractice against individual medical professionals, hospitals, and clinics.
Proving Medical Malpractice in Maryland
To have a successful claim for medical malpractice, there some basic things you will have to prove:
- There was a doctor-patient relationship between the plaintiff (person bringing the lawsuit) and the defendant (person the plaintiff is suing).
- The defendant was negligent. Negligent means “at fault.” The plaintiff must prove the defendant is responsible for his or her injuries. As long as the defendant provided “reasonably skillful and careful” care to the plaintiff, he or she would not be considered negligent. Proving negligence is the most important part of a medical malpractice case.
- The plaintiff’s injury was a result of the defendant’s negligence. The defendant’s proven negligence must have caused the injury for which the plaintiff is suing.
- The plaintiff’s damages are specific and measurable. Some provable harm has to have happened to the plaintiff for there to be a case of medical malpractice. Common damages include physical pain, mental anguish, unnecessary medical bills, and the loss of work or earning capacity.
Proving the defendant’s negligence is the only way for the plaintiff to win a medical malpractice claim. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be incredibly difficult to prove the defendant’s negligent action or inaction led to the victim’s injuries. For example, if a doctor treats a patient for a life-threatening condition but the patient dies afterward, was the cause of death the condition or something the doctor did improperly?
In many cases, proving negligence will require the testimony of a medical expert. The plaintiff’s attorney will call on this expert to explain the proper standard of care the defendant should have followed, how they failed to do so, and how that failure led to the victim’s injuries.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice
While the specific claims of a medical malpractice case can vary widely, the law usually sorts malpractice cases into one of three categories:
- Failure to diagnose: A claim for failure to diagnose can be brought if a reasonably competent doctor would have properly diagnosed the patient’s condition, but the defendant did not.
- Improper treatment: If the defendant treated the patient in a way no reasonably skilled doctor would, the patient may be able to file a medical malpractice claim.
- Failure to warn the patient of known risks: Medical professionals are responsible for informing the patient of known potential risks of medications or procedures they are prescribing. If the medical professional fails to inform the patient of known risks, he or she may have reason to file a medical malpractice claim.
The complex laws governing medical malpractice vary from state to state. Due to the wide range of its practice, Discepolo Firm is knowledgeable about the medical malpractice laws in Maryland and many other states. Contact our office today to learn how we can guide your through the challenge of a medical malpractice lawsuit.